A few sunny intervals broke through a mostly cloudy sky this afternoon, but it was still and mild as I walked over to the Lakes. There was a lot of disturbance out and about today, large lawn mowers, bonfires, and the continual triple boom of the gas cannon in a nearby rape field every twenty minutes made it a difficult walk, there was also a tree surgeon training crew at a large garden adjacent to the lakes, all with chainsaws!
Needless to say not much was recorded! Just 2 MALLARD and a KINGFISHER were on the water today, along with a few MOORHENS. I left pretty quickly, and headed for the Tree Nursery and Greenhouse Grounds, the former had 2 GREEN WOODPECKERS, and 4 MEADOW PIPIT in the rough grassland, and the boundary hedgerow that divides the Nursery from the Pub Field had a mixed feeding flock moving along it, this included at least 8 LONG TAILED TITS, 2 GREAT TITS, 4 BLUE TITS, 3 GOLDCREST, 2 CHAFFINCH and a ROBIN. A large sycamore tree stands in the hedgerow, this had 8 FIELDFARE, 2 REDWING, a MISTLETHRUSH and a SONGTHUSH within in its semi leafless canopy.
I stood a while at the Tree Nursery, watching and listening, and was fortunate enough to see a LITTLE EGRET (57) fly over, only the second record of this species for the year, the first was back in February. The first Little Egret recorded on my patch was back in December 2007, in 2008 Little Egrets were recorded in 8 months of the year, but after that sightings tailed off, with records in 5 months of 2009, 4 months in 2010, and 3 months in 2011. Its a good patch sighting though, and moves the November total on to 57, which is the same species tally that was recorded in the whole of November 2002 and 2007, but still in 5th place overall.
I ended the visit at the Greenhouse Grounds, where I checked the line of Alders, here again I found a mixed flock of GOLDFINCH and LESSER REDPOLL, but with them today were a few SISKIN, in all about 50 birds were seen, a nice wintery flock :-)
Walking home along Ashes lane in near darkness, I saw an increase from the single LINNET seen in the pre - roost Ash tree on Tuesday, there were now 6 :-) A far cry from the 100 or so that roosted in the Tree Nursery in previous winters, but numbers could increase yet.
No photo's today, too dull out there :-(